Davis in Edmonton: Galileo and the Garden of Eden

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Event Details

Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the CSCA present a lecture by Ted Davis (Professor of History of Science, Messiah College)

Galileo and the Garden of Eden: Galileo’s Hermeneutics, Modern Christians, and Natural History

Location: University of Alberta, Central Academic Building (CAB) 243
OPTIONAL: Join CSCA Edmonton for a BBQ at 5 PM.

Abstract: To defend Copernican theory from the charge of being contrary to the Bible, Galileo argued that God’s “two books” of Scripture and nature could be harmonized by recognizing that Scripture is “accommodated” to ordinary human language and ideas, which are not scientific. Galileo’s hermeneutical strategy was widely imitated by scientists and clergy in the nineteenth century to help Christians accept an ancient Earth. Since then, however, American Christians have responded to these hermeneutical strategies in varying ways. This talk analyzes what Galileo said, shows how his arguments were reprised in nineteenth-century arguments about the relationship between natural history and Christianity, and explores the trajectory of these arguments into the present day.

Ted Davis is Fellow of the History of Science for the BioLogos Foundation and Professor of the History of Science at Messiah College. A former high school science teacher, Ted studied history and philosophy of science at Indiana University, where his mentor was the late Richard S. Westfall, author of the definitive biography of Isaac Newton. With the English historian Michael Hunter, Ted edited The Works of Robert Boyle, 14 vols. (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1999-2000), but his interests include the whole 2000-year interaction of Christianity and science. Author of dozens of scholarly articles and essays, Ted is one of few historians who have written extensively about both the Scientific Revolution and modern America. He and his wife Kathy enjoy theater, music, and traveling to new places. (source)

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